February 5, 2017
Saskatoon home sales off to a good start for 2017: SRAR
A media release from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® with an overview of residential MLS® sales and listing activity follows.
Home sales in January brought cause for optimism for the year ahead with a six percent increase, year-over-year. Sales of 185 units represented the highest volume January since 2014. The five-year average for the month is 195 sales. "An increase in sales in a typically quiet month is very encouraging," comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®, "especially in the wake of the tougher mortgage qualifications introduced last October."
Another positive indicator is the number of homes available for sale. At the end of January, there was a total of 1,592 homes for sale in the Saskatoon market, representing the second lowest monthly total in almost two years. The lowest inventory level was December of 2016 with a total of 1,443 properties on the market.
At current inventory levels, anticipating no increase in demand, and no new properties listed for sale, it would take over eight months to liquidate the current inventory of properties. The five-year average for available inventory in the Saskatoon market is just under five months. The "sales to listing ratio" is an indicator of whether we are in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. It is determined by dividing the number of sales by the number of new listings for a period of time. When this ratio is at 50 percent, the market is considered balanced. The last couple of years has favored buyers in the marketplace with the average sales to listing ratio being 40 percent. January typically has an uptick in listing activity and quieter sales activity which is reflected in this year’s sales to listing ratio of 26 percent. The five-year average for the month of January is 30 percent.
Homes priced below $400,000 saw a much-needed increase in activity compared to last January with 143 sales between $200,000 and $400,000, a 20 percent increase, year-over-year. The average sale price for January of $341,800 represented a four percent decline compared to last year. In 2016, a steady number of sales over $750,000 kept the average price stable in spite of a five percent decline in total sales. This emphasizes that using an average to determine the true market picture is easily misleading. The median price for last month was $318,500 which was the lowest median price in almost five years. A more reliable indicator of the market is the MLS® Home Price Index® (HPI). It is considered to be the most accurate determinant of where a real estate market is trending. The HPI composite benchmark price has also been trending downward, although very slightly for several months.
In January, it took 54 days, on average, to sell a home in Saskatoon which is consistent with the five-year average of 51 days. This compares to 45 days which is the average market time over the past five years. "In any market, a home that is priced to current market conditions should sell in even less time, often within a week or two," comments Yochim. "Buyers are well educated on the market and are not fooled by optimistic sellers. However, they are willing to pay market price for the right home in any market. For homes that are selling, the sale prices are being realized within 97 percent of the asking price."
"The best advice I can give a seller in any market is to get professional advice when dealing with your largest asset," adds Yochim.
For further information, please contact:
Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer - Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®